First Annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards
Welcome to the results of our first annual Innovative Architecture and Design competition. We had an impressive response to our inaugural contest, with nearly 100 entries gracing our mailbox, from a community center addition in Altoona to an Olympic Park in Utah.
First and foremost, a big thank you to all who entered—what an eye-popping field of fascinating projects. You made the judging very tough. There were so many exciting and unique projects submitted, and all the entries helped raise the competition to an outstanding level.
With design innovation the title goal of the competition, we were searching for facilities, new or recently renovated, that are helping to set standards of excellence in the recreation community. Winners and Honor Awards were chosen by our panel of judges, with the hopes of highlighting the best and most interesting projects the recreation industry has to offer, from aquatic centers and health clubs to arenas and community centers—and everything in between.
With many factors were taken into consideration (interesting design, construction, programming, site, operational and budget factors, for example), we strove to have each facility judged on its own merits and scope, with our goal to reward creative design ideas, such as overcoming common obstacles, tight funding or limited space, to name a few.
It's important to note that this was not a contest of budgets. We didn't throw a tiny municipal pool up against a zillion-dollar health complex. It was not a battle of David vs. Goliath, nor really a battle at all, for we wanted to ultimately recognize some Davids and some Goliaths—those facilities that happen to be the most ingenious, inventive and resourceful, whatever their size or cost.
The key word our panel constantly considered was "innovative," hence again the title of this competition. A winning facility can be small and spartan or grand and huge, as long as its design is creative and serves the needs of its patrons above and beyond.
Each project was considered and scored under its own circumstances, given the picture the entrant painted for us. However, obviously, this was still a competition, and it was only natural that entries were ultimately compared to each other.
In addition to pertinent design, construction, programming, site, operational and budget factors, entrants were also asked to answer the following questions representing the core of the competition criteria: (a) What is the facility's recreational value? How is this facility serving its community's needs? (b) What is the project value? (value vs. cost, in terms of the bang for the buck) (c) What's innovative about the project? In what ways is it unique and creative in its design? (d) How is its aesthetic presentation? Does it create visual excitement and comfort, inside and out? (e) What is the design concept for this project? How well does it meet its functional and operational expectations?
It is our hope that we have selected facilities which will serve as excellent examples to our readers as well as generate good ideas and inspirations for other facilities.
So, without further ado, congratulations to our Winners and our Honor Award recipients. You do our industry proud.